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Members of the new Prosecutorial Council discussing European standards and best practices on the appointment, evaluation, promotion and accountability of state prosecutors in Montenegro

Kolasin , Montenegro 19 - 20 July 2022
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Members of the new Prosecutorial Council discussing European standards and best practices on the appointment, evaluation, promotion and accountability of state prosecutors in Montenegro

Members of the new Prosecutorial Council - prosecutors and eminent lawyers, have participated in the workshop on the appointment, promotion, evaluation and accountability of prosecutors, held in Kolašin on 19 - 20 July. The purpose of the workshop was to enhance the implementation of the European standards on independence and accountability of state prosecutors. The workshop aroused out of the efforts to further improve the Council's practices regarding appointment, evaluation and dismissal of prosecutors and bring them in line with relevant standards in these areas.

In her introductory speech, the Acting Supreme State Prosecutor and Chairman of the Prosecutorial Council of Montenegro, Maja Jovanović, stated that the new Council has achieved significant results since the beginning of 2022, including with respect to the ongoing revision of the Rules of Evaluation, based on the results of the expert review of Montenegrin evaluation system conducted in 2021, under the joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro.” State secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Bojan Božović has expressed the readiness of the Ministry to further improve the legislative framework for the work of the prosecution and to facilitate its effective implementation.

During the course of the workshop, the Council of Europe consultants as well as prosecutors from Denmark and Croatia delivered presentations on main standards of prosecutors' independence and accountability, focusing on recommendations by the Committee of Ministers and opinions of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE). Members of the Council participated extensively in follow-up discussions and also in discussions related to financial management and judicial statistics.

The particular focus of the workshop was on the criteria and standards for performance evaluation of prosecutors. Different approaches and models have been examined. The participants also discussed ways to improve the Rules of Evaluation. It was concluded by the Council's members that the evaluation produces consequences for prosecutors under career advancement regime but have less impact on the system of individual professional training of prosecutors.

At the conclusion of the workshop, it was stressed out that there is a tendency towards greater prosecutors' independence and accountability. It was concluded that a delicate balance should be found between quality and quantity criteria when assessing the performance of prosecutors. Quality criteria should prevail, at the same time respecting prosecutorial independence.

The outcome of the workshop will be a Roadmap of further support under the action “Accountability and professionalism of the judicial system in Montenegro” which is part of the joint EU and Council of Europe programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 - 2022".